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(Perfect Meatballs)

chinese-shrimp-pork-meatballs.jpg

(Chinese Shrimp and Pork Meatballs)

buffalo-meatballs.jpg

(Buffalo Meatballs)

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(Moroccan Lamb Meatballs)

Gourmet Meatballs

The following recipes incorporated “Cook’s Illustrated” magazine’s tips for making better meatballs (see Cook’s Illustrated, November/December 2010, pg 14) with my meatball recipes. The results were fantastic.  Adjust the seasoning for each recipe to meet your taste preferences. Instructions for all recipes are to bake the meatballs and simmer in a broth or sauce for added flavor. For variation, cook meatballs in your favorite sauce or broth.

 

Perfect Meatballs (big batch for company)
2 1/4 cups coarse bread crumbs*
1 1/2 cups 1% buttermilk*
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
2 pounds ground beef, 85% lean
1 pound lean ground pork
3 eggs, beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoning mix, optional*

 

Combine bread crumbs with buttermilk, stir to mix, set aside. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water; allow to soften 2-3 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450° F. To reduce cleanup mess, line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Place cooking rack on pan and spray with non-stick spray, set aside.

Place beef, pork, beaten eggs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt and optional seasoning in mixing bowl. Add soaked bread crumbs and softened gelatin. Using hands, gently mix until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Lightly form into approximately forty 2-inch diameter meatballs; arrange meatballs on cooking racks. Place both baking pans in oven, bake meatballs 15 minutes; rotate pans top to bottom and front to back; continue to bake 15 minutes longer. Makes 40 meatballs.

Serving Suggestion (suggestion not included in nutrition analysis): Place meatballs in large oven proof baking dish, cover with 2 quarts heated pasta sauce of choice; cover baking dish and bake in 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Serves 12-14 people.

 

Chinese Shrimp and Pork Meatballs
3/4 cup coarse bread crumbs*
1/3 cup 1% lowfat milk
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 pound peeled raw shrimp
3/4 pound lean ground pork
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger root
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (including tops)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg, beaten

 

Combine bread crumbs with milk and soy sauce, stir to mix, set aside. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water, set aside to soften. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with non-stick spray; set aside. Cut shrimp in half or thirds, set aside.  Place ground pork, ginger root, finely chopped onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, and beaten egg in mixing bowl. Add softened bread crumbs and gelatin. Using hands, gently mix until ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Dampen hands, spoon approximately 1 tablespoon mix into the palm of hand, slightly flatten and form an indent in center; place shrimp in center of indent; gently form meat around shrimp. Place meatballs on prepared pan, cook according to either method below. Makes 20 meatballs, serves 5-6.

Method 1:  Preheat oven to 450° F, bake meatballs on foil lined baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove meatballs from pan and place in hot soup or broth (see recipe below); bring to a gently boil, reduce heat, cover pan and simmer meatballs 10 minutes of until thoroughly cooked.

Method 2:  Prepare a broth or soup (see below), place broth in a large shallow pan; bring soup to a boil, gently place meatballs in a single layer in soup; bring soup back to a gentle boil, reduce heat, cover pan, simmer meatballs 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. NOTE – this method makes a softer meatball texture, one that will crumble easily if stirred.

Serving Suggestion (suggestion not included in nutrition analysis): Place meatballs in seasoned broth/soup, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Lightly thicken broth as desired. Broth/Soup Recipe: 6 cups chopped Chinese cabbage (about 1 pound), 2 cans (14 oz ea) chicken broth, 2 cups water, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon sugar. Bring to a boil, add meatballs according to recipe above, bring back to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer according to recipe above.

 

Buffalo Meatballs
1 cup coarse bread crumbs*
3/4 cup buttermilk*
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1 pound ground bison
1/2 pound ground pork
4 oz prosciutto, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

 

Combine bread crumbs with buttermilk, stir to mix, set aside. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water; allow soften 2-3 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450° F. Line a large baking sheet with foil; place cooking rack on pan and spray with non-stick spray, set aside.

Place bison, pork, finely chopped prosciutto, beaten eggs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in mixing bowl. Add soaked bread crumbs and softened gelatin. Using hands, gently mix until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Lightly form into approximately twenty 2-inch diameter meatballs; arrange meatballs on cooking rack. Bake meatballs 30 minutes. 

Serving Suggestion (not included in nutrition analysis): Place meatballs in large oven proof dish, cover with 4 cups favorite pasta sauce. Cover dish and place in hot 300° F oven; bake 30 minutes or until meatballs are heated through. Serves 8-12.

 

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs
1 cup coarse bread crumbs*
3/4 cup buttermilk*
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1 pound ground lamb
1/2 pound ground beef (85% lean)
1/2 pound lean ground pork
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons paprika, more/less to taste
2 teaspoons cumin, more/less to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more/less to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, more/less to taste

 

Combine bread crumbs with buttermilk, stir to mix, set aside. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water; allow soften 2-3 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450° F. Line a large baking sheet with foil; place cooking rack on pan and spray with non-stick spray, set aside.

Place lamb, beef, pork, beaten eggs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in mixing bowl. Add soaked bread crumbs and softened gelatin.  Using hands, gently mix until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Lightly form into approximately twenty 2-inch diameter meatballs; arrange meatballs on cooking rack. Bake meatballs 30 minutes. 

 

Serving Suggestion: Place meatballs in large oven proof dish, cover with 4 cups sauce; cover dish and place in hot 300° F oven for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

SAUCE: Serves 8-10.

 

*Notes for all recipes:

  • Ideas for bread crumbs: Try homemade dry bread cubes; pulse in food processor to create coarse bread crumbs. Use Japanese style bread crumbs (Panko Brand).
  • Buttermilk may be substituted with 1 cup of plain yogurt and 1/2 cup milk.
  • Optional Mixed Spice Seasoning: combine 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, 2 tablespoons ground cumin, and 1 tablespoon ground cloves. Mix and store in air-tight container.

 

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